One of the biggest movies of the late 1990s, setting the bar for a new phase in Hollywood blockbuster action and CGI special effects, Independence Day (aka ID4) was a box office smash for 20th Century Fox. Plans for a sequel were bandied about for nearly two decades - before Roland Emmerich confirmed that plans for Independence Day 2 AND 3 were officially underway. Originally planned to film back-to-back, Emmerich eventually walked-back promises that Independence Day 3 would enter production at the same time as 2 - so that the filmmaker and studio could focus on insuring the long-awaited sequel stood the greatest chance of success.
Now, with roughly six months before Independence Day: Resurgence hits theaters on June 24th (not July 4th), 20th Century Fox has unveiled the film's first full trailer (above).
Instead of new story details, the trailer spends most of its two-minute runtime reintroducing returning faces and explaining to audiences what has been happening on Earth since aliens first invaded twenty years back.
In case you missed it before, here's the official synopsis for Resurgence - much of which was highlighted in the new footage as well as a new viral marketing site: War of 1996.
From director Roland Emmerich and producer Dean Devlin, 1996’s Independence Day shattered opening weekend and total box office records, becoming the year’s top-grossing film. It also became the first movie in history to gross over $500m internationally. But Independence Day was just the beginning. We always knew they were coming back. After that film redefined the event movie genre, the next epic chapter in the Independence Day universe delivers a global spectacle on an unimaginable scale. Using recovered alien technology, the nations of Earth have collaborated on an immense defense program to protect the planet. But nothing can prepare us for the aliens’ advanced and unprecedented force. Only the ingenuity of a few brave men and women can bring our world back from the brink of extinction.
The trailer makes a few things clear:
- The aliens haven't given up on their interest in consuming Earth's resources.
- Human scientists have retrofitted Earth weapons with alien technology.
- Said technology won't be enough to easily defeat the next "bigger" wave of aliens.
- David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum), Thomas J. Whitmore (Bill Pullman), Patricia Whitmore (now played by Maika Monroe), Julius Levinson (Judd Hirsch), and Jasmine Dubrow-Hiller (Vivica A. Fox) are all back.
Independence Day remains a fan-favorite film for many moviegoers, thanks to the terrifying efficiency of Emmerich's aliens - a race of frail but ruthless extraterrestrials that hid behind advanced technology while callously exterminating humans across the globe. Of course, in addition to destroying iconic locations and monuments, ID4 also featured a star-studded cast of established favorites (Goldblum) and up-and-comers (Will Smith), clever world-building, and a number of quotable lines.
Emmerich has attempted to fill vacancies, left by actors who were not interested in returning, with new stars. Jake Morrison (Liam Hemsworth) and Dylan Dubrow-Hiller (Jessie Usher), along with Maika Monroe (replacing Mae Whitman), are set to be the new faces of the franchise as Fox attempts to draw the Independence Day story out into two, possibly three, more entries.
To that end, the new trailer seems to be playing from the same handbook but Hollywood and viewer expectations have changed a lot in the last two decades - meaning that the Resurgence trailer simply isn't as memorable as its predecessor. All the pieces are in place for a worthy follow-up (well, except for Will Smith and Mae Whitman) but it will, without question, take more than a "bigger" alien threat for the Independence Day sequel to compete at the modern box office, especially after Star Wars 7, Batman V Superman, and Captain America: Civil War, will have already come and gone - with Resurgence sitting in the middle of the summer release schedule between Finding Dory and Warcraft, as well as the Ghostbusters reboot and Suicide Squad.
Independence Day: Resurgence hits theaters on June 24th, 2016.
Source: 20th Century Fox